A study of the attitude of Latin-American residents in Spain toward organ xenotransplantation

Antonio Ríos, Ana Isabel López-Navas, Laura Martínez-Alarcón, José Sánchez, Guillermo Ramis, Pablo Ramírez, Pascual Parrilla
Xenotransplantation 2014, 21 (2): 149-61

BACKGROUND: It is important to find out what would be the level of acceptance of xenotransplantation in society, especially in populations where there are preclinical trials. The Latin-American population is growing in Spain, given the cultural, religious, and language similarities.

OBJECTIVES: (i) to analyze attitude toward xenotransplantation in the population born in Latin America and now residing in Spain; and (ii) to establish the variables that affect this attitude.

METHOD: A sample of Latin-American residents in Spain was obtained randomly in 2010 and stratified by the respondent's nationality (n = 1.314). Attitude was evaluated using a validated questionnaire (PCID-XenoTx Rios), which was completed anonymously and self-administered.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Student's t-test, the Chi-squared test, Fisher's exact test, and logistic regression analysis.

RESULTS: The questionnaire completion rate was 89% (n = 1.165). If it was assumed that xenotransplanted organs functioned as well as human ones, 40% were in favor, 19% against, and 41% undecided. This attitude is related to: age (P = 0.003); sex (P = 0.002); level of education (P < 0.001); descendents (P = 0.003); country of origin (P < 0.001); participation in voluntary prosocial activities (P = 0.006); having spoken about donation and transplantation within the family (P < 0.001); a partner's favorable attitude toward transplantation (P < 0.001); previous experience of donation and/or transplantation (P < 0.001); a belief that one might need a transplant in the future (P < 0.001); and a favorable attitude toward human donation, both deceased as well as living (P < 0.001). In the multivariate analysis, the following variables continue to feature as independent variables: age (older: Odds Ratio = 1.041); sex (male: OR = 1.579); level of education (university: OR = 2.770); descendents (none: OR = 2.386); a partner's attitude toward transplantation (favorable: OR = 2.262); attitude toward deceased organ donation (favorable: OR = 1.587); previous experience of donation and/or transplantation (OR = 1.519); a belief that one might need a transplant in the future (OR = 1.675); and attitude toward related living donation (in favor: OR = 4.405).

CONCLUSIONS: Latin Americans who usually reside in Spain have a more negative attitude toward xenotransplantation than the native Spanish population, and their attitude is affected by many psychosocial factors, mainly related to previous attitude toward the different types of human organ donation.

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